Marginal oilfields: NUPRC withdraws offers over signature payment failure

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has withdrawn the offer letters issued to awardees in the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round (MFBR).

Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer, NUPRC, made this known in a statement issued on Tuesday in Lagos.

Komolafe said that the offers were withdrawn due to failure to pay signature bonuses within the stipulated time frame.

He noted that some of the recipients of the Letter of Notification of Potential Awardee Status in the bid round were yet to pay their signature bonuses after the prerequisite 45 days period.

Komolafe said all offers made to potential awardees who failed to pay their signature bonus for their respective equity participation have expired by operation of law.

According to him, such interests have reverted to the bid basket due to effluxion of time for the payment of the applicable signature bonus.

Komolafe said this was in line with the rules and guidelines governing the 2020 MFBR and the Notification of Potential Award Letters.

“The commission accepts no responsibility or liability in respect of any action or activity by any such potential awardees, their partners, associates, representatives or privies in further pursuit of any consideration or award under the said MFBR.

“Participating interest for fields where the potential awardees have failed to pay all the required signature bonus will be pro-rated.

“The portion not paid for has automatically reverted to the bid basket and will be offered to Reserve Bidders in line with paragraph 9 (III) of the MBFR Guidelines.

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“This is to ensure maximum participation of a wide cross section of Nigerians,” he added.

Komolafe said eligible reserve bidders would soon be contacted to provide proof of funds for payment of the applicable signature bonus.

He said this would form the basis for the issuance of potential award letters for the equity participation taken back into the bid basket.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a marginal field is any field that has reserves booked and reported annually to the NUPRC and has remained unproduced for a period of over 10 years.

The bid-rounds for the nation’s 57 marginal oilfields began on June 1, 2020 with over 600 companies applying for pre-qualification.

However, 161 successful applicants selected for the final stage of the exercise.

The commission said the objective of the MFBR was to deepen indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry as well as add to the country’s production and reserve.

The programme is also geared to provide technical and financial partnerships for investors. (NAN)